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Consumer Privacy and Marketing Avoidance


  • Il-Horn Hann

    (University of Southern California)

  • Kai-Lung Hui

    (National University of Singapore)

  • Sang-Yong Tom Lee

    (Hanyang University)

  • Ivan Png

    (National University of Singapore)


We introduce consumer avoidance into analytical marketing research. We show that consumer efforts to conceal themselves and to deflect marketing have a crucial impact on sellers¡¯ marketing strategy. Under reasonable conditions, seller marketing is a strategic complement with consumer concealment. Hence, consumer measures to conceal themselves from marketing will increase its cost-effectiveness and lead sellers to market more. Policies that encourage consumers to conceal their identities would lead sellers to increase marketing. By contrast, policies that encourage consumers to deflect seller marketing would lead sellers to reduce marketing. Further, there is a clear need for public policy. To the extent of the externality from the sellers to consumers, the equilibrium levels of marketing (chosen by sellers) and concealment and deflection (chosen by consumers) exceed the social optimum.

Suggested Citation

  • Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Sang-Yong Tom Lee & Ivan Png, 2005. "Consumer Privacy and Marketing Avoidance," Industrial Organization 0503009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0503009
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 27

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Kummer & Patrick Schulte, 2019. "When Private Information Settles the Bill: Money and Privacy in Google’s Market for Smartphone Applications," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(8), pages 3470-3494, August.
    2. Chen, Yongmin & Hua, Xinyu & Maskus, Keith E., 2021. "International protection of consumer data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    3. Simon P. Anderson & André De Palma, 2009. "Information congestion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 688-709, December.
    4. Anna D’Annunzio & Antonio Russo, 2020. "Ad Networks and Consumer Tracking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(11), pages 5040-5058, November.
    5. Chiao, Benjamin & MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey, 2012. "Using uncensored communication channels to divert spam traffic," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 173-186.
    6. Spiegel, Yossi, 2013. "Commercial software, adware, and consumer privacy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 702-713.
    7. Felipe Thomaz & Carolina Salge & Elena Karahanna & John Hulland, 2020. "Learning from the Dark Web: leveraging conversational agents in the era of hyper-privacy to enhance marketing," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 43-63, January.
    8. Zike Cao & Kai-Lung Hui & Hong Xu, 2018. "An Economic Analysis of Peer Disclosure in Online Social Communities," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 29(3), pages 546-566, September.
    9. Kai A.Konrad, 2010. "Merger Profitability in Industries with Brand Portfolios and Loyal Customers," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 26, pages 5-26.
    10. Kai-Lung Hui & I.P.L. Png, 2005. "The Economics of Privacy," Industrial Organization 0505007, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Aug 2005.
    11. Burmester, Alexa B. & Becker, Jan U. & van Heerde, Harald J. & Clement, Michel, 2015. "The impact of pre- and post-launch publicity and advertising on new product sales," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 408-417.
    12. Philipp Dimakopoulos & Slobodan Sudaric, 2017. "Privacy and Platform Competition," Working Papers 2017003, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    13. Khim Yong, Goh & Kai-Lung, Hui & I.P.L., Png, 2008. "Social Interaction, Observational Learning, and Privacy: the "Do Not Call" Registry," MPRA Paper 8225, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Khim-Yong Goh & Kai-Lung Hui & Ivan P. L. Png, 2015. "Privacy and Marketing Externalities: Evidence from Do Not Call," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(12), pages 2982-3000, December.
    15. Nelson-Field, Karen & Riebe, Erica & Newstead, Kellie, 2013. "The emotions that drive viral video," Australasian marketing journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 205-211.

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    • L - Industrial Organization


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